Yesterday was the United States Marine Corps birthday.
And the Marines like to celebrate it with an annual birthday ball.
One of the formal ceremonial parts of the ball is where they ask for all the Veterans to please stand up.
Nearly the entire room of uniformed men and women rise up in unison, with only a scant handful of very new (like, just-graduated-from-boot-camp very new) Marines still sitting.
Then the MC starts to go through the wars.
The Veterans stay standing for all the ones the ones they've served through.
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Desert Storm
World War II
By the end, there are only a few very elderly and very proud Marines left standing, albeit sometimes with walkers and canes. And everyone in the room takes a moment to appreciate what they have given to their country over the years, and their continued pride in the life they have led.
Will all the Veterans please stand, as America briefly pauses to recognize who you are and what you do. I'm sorry it doesn't happen more often or with more sincerity.